Oral oncology

Beclin1 inhibits proliferation, migration and invasion in tongue squamous cell carcinoma cell lines.

PMID 25096824


The role of autophagy is still a controversy in cancer development. In our previous study, we confirmed that decrease of autophagy activity promotes malignant progression of tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC). However, the role of autophagy-related protein, Beclin1, has not well been documented in TSCC. In this study, we aim to elucidate the role of beclin1 in TSCC progression and investigate its potential mechanisms. TSCC cell lines, SCC9 and SCC15 were used to generate the stable cells with transfection lentivirus BECN1 and sh-BECN1. Then, Beclin1 expression was detected with qPCR and western blot. Moreover, the expressions of autophagy-related proteins and tumor metastasis associated proteins were examined by western blot and ELISA. For functional analysis, MTT assay were performed to evaluate the proliferation activity and transwell assay was used to assess the migration and invasion ability. Finally, TSCC xenograft models were established to confirm the effect of Beclin1 on TSCC in vivo. The results showed that BECN1 and sh-BECN1 virus transfection significantly increased or decreased the mRNA and protein expression of Beclin1 in the transfected TSCC cells. Meanwhile, we also observed that Beclin1 could enhance the expression levels of LC3-II, ATG4 and ATG5. Then, we revealed that overexpression of Beclin1 inhibited proliferation, migration and invasion while knockdown of Beclin1 promoted proliferation, migration and invasion in TSCC cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9 were involved in Beclin1-mediated inhibition of migration and invasion. More importantly, our data also confirmed that Beclin1 inhibited TSCC xenograft growth in vivo. Taken together, the results indicate that autophagy regulating gene, Beclin1, may contribute to the malignant phenotypes of TSCC cells and can be a potential target for oral cancer gene therapy.